My husband is a Chinese takeout addict. I’m pretty sure that if he was left to his own devices, he would eat lo mein for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. When I first made these Sweet and Sour Asian Chickpeas with peppers, I’m pretty sure Matt died and went to heaven.
Plant-friendly asian meals
The wonderful thing about asian cuisine is that most, if not all, restaurants already have plant-based options on their menus. From General Tso’s tofu to veggie sushi rolls, the options are endless and amazing. But when it comes to cooking these meals at home, often times the final results fall short.
Stir-fries can end up tasting like straight soy sauce, tofu can come out soggy, and veggies lack that flavorful punch found in many favorite dishes. In fact, it’s rare that you can make something at home that really satisfies the craving for good Chinese food.
Bye chicken, hello chickpeas
Say hello to your new favorite: sweet and sour asian chickpeas with peppers.
I remember growing up on sweet and sour chicken. Does nyone else remember dipping their breaded chicken into a radioactive red vat of soupy sauce? Oh yeah, those were the days. I loved the sweet and tangy flavors then as much as I do now. And I love that I can create the same effect at home, with planet-friendly ingredients.
This recipe is packed with flavor and so ridiculously simple to pull together. It serves two comfortably, but double it if you’re serving more people!
I really love the use of chickpeas here, but this recipe would be delicious with tofu, tempeh, or vegan chicken strips instead! You can also substitute the broccoli and peppers for any other combination of veggies that you have on hand! Serve atop rice, and garnish with sesame seeds, red pepper flakes, and scallions, if you wish.
Sweet and Sour Asian Chickpeas with Peppers
- 1 tsp oil
- 1 14.5 oz. can chickpeas
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 red bell pepper, sliced
- 1/2 green bell pepper, sliced
- 2 cup broccoli, chopped
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 2 tbsp rice vinegar
- 1 1/2 tbsp tomato paste
- 2 tsp soy sauce
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 2 tbs water
- salt, pepper, and cayenne pepper, to taste
- Mix all sauce ingredients in a bowl and set aside
- Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat
- Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes
- Add the peppers, cover and cook for 2 minutes
- Mix in the broccoli, cover and cook for 2 more minutes
- Once the veggies have cooked, add the chickpeas and sauce. Reduce heat to medium, cover and cook for 10 minutes.
- Taste the sauce. Add salt, pepper, and cayenne pepper to taste. Depending on your preferene, add more vinegar, sugar, or salt.
- Mix cornstarch to room temperature water. Add the mixture to the pan, and stir to combine. Cover and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes, or until the sauce has slightly thickened.
- Remove from heat. I like mine on a bed of rice, and garnished with sesame seeds and red pepper flakes.